Someone killed my trees. When I saw the drill holes in my Manitoba maples I found myself go cold and then found myself really angry. When I bought this lot to build on the first thing that attracted me was the mature trees on the boulevard.
When I discovered them dying this last week I found myself really curious. The ĺ inch drill hole in each tree and the dead grass around the base of the trees were dead giveaways. This was not a natural occurrence, they had been poisoned and it was deliberate.
I found myself going through the usual grief process, denial, anger/revenge, remorse, rebuild and reconciliation. My first reaction of disbelief; How could someone do such a thing on someone elseís property?? What was the motivation as it sure felt petty, invasive and rather nervy of the person who would do such a thing? Did they do it because they donít like me, donít like my trees, and donít like the leaves? Why would they attack something that is beautiful, provides shade and is on someone elseís property? Clearly this was someone who felt they could get away with it and also felt that they were justified in their behaviour.
The second reaction was to find out if I could get back at them. I went to the City. They are always so helpful even if something like this is outside of their jurisdiction. Itís always amazing how many things are controlled provincially as opposed to locally.
Tree management and destruction of such are clearly outside of the community charter. The charter is controlled by the province and the communities are required to conform to this legislation.
I went to the police. The only thing they can do is go after clear examples of vandalism and this kind of thing is not very clear under provincial and federal law. Frankly, on the grand scheme of things something like this is really minor. I have the aggravation, cleanup costs but not a lot of satisfaction.
However the city did look at my trees, they did confirm that they had been poisoned and because they were on the boulevard they are more than willing to clean up the mess. Iíve got to say despite all of the hoops that they have to go through to deal with stuff like this. Which is outside of their mandate they continue to provide exceptional service and I really feel thankful for all that they have done for me.
The problem for me remains as to who would kill my trees and why would they do it? This kind of behaviour forces me to look inward. I am the one reacting. I am the one who can easily justify my behaviour and my reactions; ultimately I remain responsible for my behaviour and not responsible for other adults around me. I can hold others accountable but in the end I have to live with myself.
I come with a perspective that I am required to understand others... deeply. Understanding requires compassion. When I recognize arrogance, ignorance, envy, malice or whatever - the work for me is to figure out a way to move past the kind of behaviour someone else exhibits.
To remain reactive keeps me tied to someone elseís behaviour and I remain bound to them. To be free requires me to release them. I get far more energy this way and I get more forgiveness and in the end I get far more freedom within myself. I am the one who ends up feeling better, healthier and much more content with life.
Whoever did this gets to live with their own guilt, their own shame and their own responsibility for acting badly. One the other side of this I never realized how hard it is for some people to come to me and talk to me about a struggle I may inadvertently be causing them.
I am sometimes surprised that my way of living can cause such a reaction in another. When I begin to look at this event with an inner intention to free myself I begin to allow this event to wash away.
The damage has been done, I canít bring my trees back and I have been given the opportunity to look within. Maybe the one who did this kind of violence can do the same thing. I can only hope.